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Old 09-23-2015, 11:29 PM   #2301
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We have done numerous one way car rentals in Italy. We have pickup up a car in Florence as we were leaving town and dropped it off elsewhere. No drop charges. We have found autoeupe.com to be very competitive. We had an issue with a Europcar billing in the UK...Autoeurope's customer service resolved it quickly and to our satisfaction.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:31 AM   #2302
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The advantage of going to Milan or Venice might be that those airports are easier to fly back to the US from, versus FLR.

However PSA is an hour from Florence too.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:44 AM   #2303
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I will take my RV down to Italy starting the trip in a couple of weeks. I just talked with my mum and she wants to fly down and visit so that we can do Firenze and Roma together - possibly more. We did the same routine visiting Venezia a couple of years ago.

I like this part of ER where I can do this for my mum. She has been a worker bee all her life and would not be able to afford this on her own. So I get her company for part of the trip which is nice - and then I get to continue alone when she flies back - which is also nice.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:16 PM   #2304
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We'll be going next September. Florence and Rome for sure, 2 weeks. Everything else is TBD. Tomorrow I'm going to talk it over with DD. She spent a semester in Florence and has lots of insights. This thread is helpful and the advice welcome.
For anyone visiting Florence and wanting to go to the Uffizi Gallery, I strongly recommend that you book your tickets on-line. The physical line really is hours' long. If you've booked on-line, you zoom to the front of the line and go right in.

Here is the museum ticket link Uffizi Tickets:Buy Tickets for Uffizi Gallery:Tickets Reservation Online


And the same thing with the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Vatican Museums - Online Ticket Office
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:43 PM   #2305
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Anyone visiting the Vatican, here's a couple tips. At least it worked 3 years ago.
Go to the Vatican Post Office and check there for the English speaking tour guide to St. Peters. It's free and the nice retired British lady will take you around all of the people waiting in line. I had almost given up when I saw how long the line was to enter but my DW found out about this and it was great to skip to the front.
Also check out online for the Scavi tour. You have to sign up, really have to submit a request. It is a tour under St. Peters through the catacombs. Really awesome.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:53 PM   #2306
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I'm planning a Mediterranean vacation for next spring. A repositioning cruise across the Atlantic to Rome, a week in Tuscany, followed by a week in Malta. Suggestions for getting from Civitavecchia to Firenze, hotels in Firenze, and things to do in Malta would be very helpful. Should I rent a car in Malta, or rely on the buses? I will be staying at Golden Bay.
You'll take a local train from Civitavecchia to Roma Termini--1 hr. 20 minutes. Then catch a fast train (reservations required) to Florence. Since you're coming in early a.m., you can make it all the way to Florence easily. Cannot help you with Malta info. Those repositioning cruises are often such a bargain.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:56 PM   #2307
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Snap!! Except that we'll be staying for 6 months, then cruising back. (Our cruise stops at Bermuda, Hamburg, Le Havre, Liverpool and Southampton)
Are you traveling on a U.S. Passport? We want to go for extended time, but the Schengen Agreement won't allow us to stay longer than 90 days total out of 180 days in Europe. And getting visas is not easy for us retirees from any EU country.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:12 PM   #2308
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You guys have give some really good information about travel in Italy. It's such a fantastic place to visit.


We have booked a 12 day cruise from Civitavecchia down to Turkey and back to Greece and ending up in Venice the end of April, 2016. We're spending 3 days in Rome first as we didn't see everything there 2 years ago.


Our biggest problem is getting back to the U.S. from Venice. Rome and Milan are the best Italian gateway airports, but neither have many flights home. We plan to fly EasyJet to London Gatwick and swap over to Norwegian Air Shuttle for a really cheap nonstop flight to Orlando.


We've got to slow down this perpetual travel after last week's return from Scandinavia and Russia. We're up to 17 countries in the last 15 months.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:46 PM   #2309
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Just bought tickets to New Orleans for January. DW and I have never been to Louisiana, so we're quite excited!
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:33 PM   #2310
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We will leave to Namibia in 2 weeks and a day.
Self driving between camps/hotels for 25 days.
I am so excited.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:58 PM   #2311
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You'll take a local train from Civitavecchia to Roma Termini--1 hr. 20 minutes. Then catch a fast train (reservations required) to Florence. Since you're coming in early a.m., you can make it all the way to Florence easily. Cannot help you with Malta info. Those repositioning cruises are often such a bargain.
Thank you Bamaman, that's exactly what I needed to know for Italy, Day 1!
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:13 AM   #2312
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We will leave to Namibia in 2 weeks and a day.
Self driving between camps/hotels for 25 days.
I am so excited.
Wow....always wanted to visit the Skeleton Coast...enjoy! Hope pics will be forthcoming.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:26 AM   #2313
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kicking around Cusco this mornin. looks like a nice day! no problems with altitude here (11k ft) yet. we have been as high as 14,000 ft and that was noticable.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:56 AM   #2314
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Norton's pub on the square was a fun place to people watch (and free wifi if you order something). Have fun!
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:06 AM   #2315
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Are you traveling on a U.S. Passport? We want to go for extended time, but the Schengen Agreement won't allow us to stay longer than 90 days total out of 180 days in Europe. And getting visas is not easy for us retirees from any EU country.
No, I'll be entering on my UK passport, and travelling to Europe from the UK. BIL has already asked us if we'd like to join him and his wife for 10 days in Belgium in May, going to a formula 1 race in Spa is his 50th birthday gift. We'll be driving, via the Hull - ZeeBrugge ferry.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:22 AM   #2316
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Wow - you guys have some great trips planned! I blew my budget this summer so I'm down to lower priced trips for a year or two.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #2317
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Still suffering from some jet lag after coming back through SFO from Rome yesterday. I noticed some good comments above on Italy. I'll add a few thoughts:
1) We did the Rick Steves southern Italy tour and enjoyed it. First tour for us. It's probably a good way to see the less accessible parts of southern Italy. Or read the tour info and do it yourself?

2) At the end of the tour in Naples we took the high speed train to Florence. You can book it on the Trenitalia site in advance. Stayed 1 week there and used it as a base. Only day tripped to Sienna which was beautiful. Would have like to stay more in Sienna. The Doumo Hotel is a very good one.

3) Then went to Assisi by train (regionale, booked while in Florence) and stayed 4 nights. Took side trip to Perugia by bus/train. Assisi is very peaceful (except for tourist groups which clear out by evening). There is a neat old 13th century castle you can walk up to. See Rick Steves Italy book for details on this town and other Umbria towns as well as Tuscuny.

4) Rome is intense. Not as gritty as Naples but it's fast paced with all the cars and Vespa's sharing the streets with pedestrians. We took a Sistine Chapel tour (Pristine Sistine as recommended by others on the RS Italy forum site). It was great and had you out of St Peter's Basilica before noon.

Visiting Italy was a great experience. Had been there in 1972. It gives one a perspective on how well things are run in the US. Not as much history here as it's such a "new" country but definitely worth sticking around for.
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #2318
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You'll take a local train from Civitavecchia to Roma Termini--1 hr. 20 minutes. Then catch a fast train (reservations required) to Florence. Since you're coming in early a.m., you can make it all the way to Florence easily.
My research has unveiled that the Civitavecchia train station is 0.75 Km from the cruise port and has no elevator, requiring hauling luggage down and up multiple steps. One way to bypass this is to take a private transfer from the port to central Rome, for US$31.38. I could go directly to the railway station to catch the high speed train to Florence.

Civitavecchia Private Transfer: Civitavecchia Cruise Port to Central Rome

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The Doumo Hotel is a very good one.
Duly noted. I want to stay close to the art galleries and a Room With A View would be awesome! I even watched the movie (again) on Netflix last week.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091867/
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:27 PM   #2319
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If the schedule works for you, and you want to avoid changing at Rome Termini you can take an alternative route.

Yo could go north from Civ. change trains in Pisa, and then to Florence. Or you could stop in Cinque Terre for a few days.

Pay attention to how fast the Italian trains are vs the ticket cost. a so called fast train may only be 20 minutes faster than another yet cost considerably less. Also avoid the milk runs.
Italian trains are very good.

It is not uncommon in Italian train stations to have to carry your luggage down a stairway passage, under the tracks, and back up again. Most stations have elevators but our experience is that they are often out of service. IMHO the best way to travel by train is to travel light...with luggage that you can easily physically handle by yourself.
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:44 AM   #2320
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I haven't yet taken my first repositioning cruise, but I suspect there are two reasons.

1. The middle of an ocean is a long way from anywhere. If you discover that life on board bores you silly, you are stuck until you reach the next port, which could be a week away.

2. The middle of an ocean is a long way from anywhere. There be storms, sometimes. And you have no choice but to hunker down.
We were on a small ship (38 passengers) in the Croatian Islands and upon return trip to Dubrovnik, had an hours open sea link during a cyclone. The boat was tossed around like a cork and proved not very seaworthy! One English traveler wisely chose the bus from Split rather than risk it.

For the rest of us it was great story telling once the fear had passed. It had been refit for May and, in September, they said they were gathering all the feedback from the ir summer for repairs during the winter.
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